Sunday, 10 July 2011

Little and large

Big, small and in-between in the trap this morning. At the big end, this Poplar Hawk is in very good condition, and interesting proof of how long generations can last. The first one this year arrived as long ago as 26th May and its generation has been recorded as late as early August, with a second one sometimes hatching in August and September in southern England. But emergence from the chrysalis will be staggered within the period, like London buses, and I'm sure that this one can only have hatched recently. I'm glad to have caught its maroon blotches and also the weird way it slides its underwings forward beneath the forewings. When fully 'sheathed', they stick right out in front.

In the middle range, here's a boldly-patterned Dark Arches, left, and our variable friend the Mottled Beauty, below right. Both species have been visiting for at least a month but, again, these two look very fresh.

And finally, that familiar micro with its sort-of specs pattern, which completes a trio of long-lasting species. Examples have also been arriving since May. For once, I managed to find something to give scale and show how titsy it is. On my first study of the eggboxes, I missed it altogether. It pays to have a second look.

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